He’s back: Dick Black epitomizes anti-choice candidates

We know that women’s health is in jeopardy across the US and in Virginia. Our state General Assembly, along with Governor Bob McDonnell’s administration and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, are working hard to roll back reproductive rights for the women of Virginia.

Instead of looking forward, we are forced to look back. And when we look back, we see a familiar and unwelcome sight from the past coming back into the picture: former House of Delegates member Dick Black.

As reported in yesterday’s Washington Times:

[Dick] Black, a staunchly conservative former state delegate who notably irked colleagues in 2003 by passing out plastic fetuses before a crucial abortion vote, has moved — again — to run in the Aug. 23 Republican primary race for an open Virginia Senate seat in Prince William and Loudoun counties. […]

After winning a House seat in 1998, Mr. Black unsuccessfully pushed for a measure that would have required doctors to administer anesthesia to fetuses prior to later-term abortions and another that tried to effectively ban gay people from adopting children in Virginia.

He did manage to shepherd through legislation requiring parental consent for abortions performed on minors before he lost his seat to Democrat David E. Poisson in 2005.

Yes, that’s right: Mr. Black is infamous for having once sent plastic fetuses to Virginia lawmakers to show his opposition to abortion. He spent most of his time in office pursuing legislation to limit a woman’s access to comprehensive reproductive health care. From 2003 to 2005 alone, he pursued at least 18 bills limiting reproductive choice including bills granting constitutional rights to fetuses, singling out abortion providers for burdensome new regulations and a bill requiring minors provide parental consent before obtaining abortion care. Unfortunately, that parental consent requirement that significantly restricts the ability of young women to access abortion is now law.

Dick Black and anti-choice politicians like him can do a lot of damage to Virginia women’s health and reproductive rights in the General Assembly. After undermining women’s health this past General Assembly session, anti-choice politicians in Virginia are feeling bold and looking to maintain control of the House of Delegates and take control of the state Senate. If they manage to topple the Senate, women’s health in Virginia could be set back for years or decades to come. Dick Black is just one of dozens of strongly anti-choice candidates running for General Assembly all across Virginia this year, not to mention the many anti-choice incumbents running for re-election.

NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia is fighting back. We’re educating voters about everything that’s at stake in this election and letting them know about candidates’ positions on the full range of issues that encompass reproductive choice.

And most importantly, we’re working to get out the pro-choice vote! Are you ready to vote? The primaries are on Tuesday, August 23rd, with the general election on Tuesday, November 8th. Check out the political updates page on our website to get details about when and where to vote, and share that information with your pro-choice friends, family members and neighbors to make sure they’ll be getting out to vote as well! And keep checking back to get the latest news on how you can help protect women’s health during this integral statewide election.


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